Your beloved canine is a perfect companion for an outdoor adventure – be it camping, hiking, hunting or any other wilderness excursion. In normal weather conditions, this is not much of a challenge. However in summers when the mercury rises, it is imperative to ensure that your canine companion is cool and happy and not overheated.
There are many ways by which you can cool down your Fido – pouring some water, wiping it with a wet towel or just taking a long break in the shade. But nothing works as well as the evaporative cooling provided by the dog cooling vests and collars.
But which are the best dog cooling vests and collars for hiking and other outdoor adventures?
In this article, we will look at answering specifically the same question and list some of the best dog cooling vests for camping, hiking, and other off-road excursions. We will discuss how these cooling products work and the factors to consider before picking the best dog cooling vest or collar for your pooch. Read On!
Also, check out our article on the best dog beds for hiking and camping for another essential gear to provide some cool comfort to your canine.
Best dog cooling vests and collars list
Some of the best dog cooling vests and collars available in the market for camping, hiking, and other outdoor adventures are listed below:
|Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Dog Cooling Vest||XXS: Neck -13.5″, Chest -13″-17″.
XS: Neck -16.25″, Chest -17″-22″.
S: Neck -19.75″, Chest -22″-27″.
M: Neck -22″, Chest -27″-32″.
L: Neck -26.5″, Chest -32″-46″.
XL: Neck -28″, Chest -36″-42″.
|All For Paws Chill Out Ice Bandana||S: Neck -11.8″-14.2″.
M: Neck -15″-18.1″.
L: Neck -17.3″-20.4″.
|SGODA Dog Cooling Vest||XXS: Neck -12″-14″, Chest -10″-11″.
XS: Neck -14.5″-17.5″, Chest -11.5″-12.5″.
S: Neck -17.5″-20″”, Chest -13″-14.5″.
M: Neck -20.5″-24″, Chest -15″-17″.
L: Neck -24.5″-28″, Chest -17.5″-19″.
XL: Neck -28″-32″, Chest -19.5″-22.5″.
XXL: Neck -32.5″-39.5″, Chest -23″-30.5″.
|Kurgo Dog Core Cooling Vest||XS: Neck -12″, Chest -14″-17″.
S: Neck -16″, Chest -18″-28″.
M: Neck -19″, Chest -26″-35″.
L: Neck -23″, Chest -30″-39″.
XL: Neck -26″, Chest -35″-45″.
|Bingpet Dog Cooling Jacket||M: Neck -23.7″-20.4, Chest -22″-25″.
L: Neck -16.5″-23.2″, Chest -28″-33″.
XL: Neck -18.8″-27.1″, Chest -32.4″-37″.
XXL: Neck -23.2″-31.1″, Chest -35″-40″.
|Derby Originals Hydro Cooling Dog Jacket||Size 12: Chest-15.5″-18″, Len.-12″.
Size 18: Chest-23″-30″, Len.-18″.
Size 22: Chest-25″-32″, Len.-22″.
Size 26: Chest-33.5″-43.5″, Len.-26″.
Size 28: Chest-34″-42″, Len.-28″.
|Ruffwear Jet Stream Dog Cooling Vest||XXS: Neck -11″-14″, Chest -13″-17″.
XS: Neck -13″-16″, Chest -17″-22″.
S: Neck -16″-20″, Chest -22″-27″.
M: Neck -17.5″-22″, Chest -27″-32″.
L: Neck -22″-26″, Chest -32″-46″.
XL: Neck -26.5″-31.5″, Chest -36″-42″.
|CoolerDog Dog Cooling Vest and Cooling Collar||XS: Chest -15″-18″.
S: Chest -18″-22″.
M: Chest -22″-27″.
L: Chest -27″-34″.
|The Dog’s Right! Dog Cooling Collar||M: Neck -14”-16”.|
|Coolaid Canine Cooling Bandana||S: 12” x 12”.
M: 18” x 18”.
L: 24” x 24”.
What are dog cooling vests and collars and how are they useful?
Sweltering summers are not the most enjoyable times for dogs who love to accompany their parents on outdoor adventures like hiking. Â The normal body temperature of dogs is already high at around 102o F, and since they do not perspire like humans (dogs only sweat from areas like nose and paw pads), they have to instead rely on panting to manage their body temperature.
Breed-specific characteristics, body weight, and extreme heat and humidity can affect this panting ability.
Insufficient heat regulation and heat stress (hyperthermia) can cause serious health problems. Breeds with flat noses such as pugs, pit bulls, shih-tzus, boxers, and bulldogs are more prone to these heat-related issues. Some of the most common problems that can arise due to overheating or hyperthermia are:
- Breathing and cardiopulmonary distress.
- Ulcers and other stomach ailments.
- Nervous system dysfunction and seizures.
- Kidney and liver damage.
- Even death.
Therefore, it is important to keep the dog cool when taking him/her outdoors in the sun. Â It is easy to manage this when you are in an urban setting and have the option of returning back to your home or seek immediate help. However, during wilderness excursions, you need to plan ahead of time. Dog cooling vests and collars are the perfect gear to help in these situations.
Dog cooling vests, or dog cooling coats as they are sometimes called, are special types of dog vests that help in keeping the canine cool by employing the basic principles of evaporation.Â These vests are made of special technical fabrics which are designed to retain moisture for longer periods of time and still provide an accelerated rate of evaporation than the natural body or fur of the canine, thereby cooling the body and preventing overheating.
Fabric-based dog cooling collars also work on the same principles. There are, however, another type of dog cooling collars available – gel-based dog cooling collars that work on a similar principle of temperature equilibrium. These collars made of special, non-toxic gel or ice packs that provide cooling as the frozen ice of cooling gel melts.
Standard dog cooling vests can provide a relief of up to 20-25o F, while high-performance cooling vests can lower the body temperature by up to 30-40o F.Â The best dog cooling vests can last for anywhere between 1 hour to 6 hours depending upon the climate before they need to be replenished with more water.
Dog cooling collars can lower the canine’s body temperature by anywhere between 5-20o F and last for anywhere between 30 minutes to 3 hours depending upon the weather and outside temperature.
Since replenishment is very easy in most cases – simply pour water on the vest or collar or let your doggo take a dip in a lake or pond, a cooling vest or collar can work well for hiking, camping, and other wilderness adventures. Generally, a combination of dog cooling vest and collar can provide the maximum protection against heat.
From the above discussion, it is clear that dog cooling vests and/or collars are a perfect gear to keep your dog cool during hiking or any other outdoor excursion.
Now let us look at some of the best dog cooling vests and collars available in the market!
Which are the best dog cooling vests and collars for camping, hiking and other outdoor adventures?
Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Dog Cooling Vest – Best dog cooling vest
Material: 100% stretching spandex top layer, 92%/8% polyester-spandex middle layer and 100% polyester mesh inner layer and trim.
- XXS: Neck – 13.5″, Chest – 13.0″ – 17.0″.
- XS: Neck – 16.25″, Chest – 17.0″ – 22.0″.
- S: Neck – 19.75″, Chest – 22.0″ – 27.0″.
- M: Neck – 22.0″, Chest – 27.0″ – 32.0″.
- L: Neck – 26.5″, Chest – 32.0″ – 46.0″.
- XL: Neck – 28.0″, Chest – 36.0″ – 42.0″.
- Best-selling, full-coverage dog cooling vest with high-quality, three-layer construction. Made in Vietnam under the US-based company’s quality control measures.
- Features a stretching spandex top, super-absorbent polyester/spandex middle layer and meshed 100% polyester inner layer.
- The outer layer reflects the heat and facilitates evaporation. The middle layer absorbs water and the inner layer transfers the cooling effect to the pet while keeping it dry. Rated to block UVA and UVB rays up to UPF 50+ rating.
- Once wet with water, can lower the body temperature by up to 30+-degrees and last for 4-5 hours. Suitable for most dog breeds.
- Equipped with adjustable straps with side-release buckles for a comfortable put-on and take-off, with an integrated leash portal to wear over a harness.
- Comes with a reflective trim for low-light visibility and an Integrated light loop to attach the light beacon.
- Easy to clean and machine washable in cold water and gentle cycle. Air dry by laying flat in sun.
- Available in six sizes and standard graphite grey color combination. Backed by a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.
When it comes to outdoor adventure gear for canines, the Ruffwear is one of the most established brand-names with many best-selling and top-rated products. And with respect to dog cooling vests, the majority of dog owners and dog trainers agree that the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler is one of the best options available in the market. It is also our favorite and top pick.
Like most other Ruffwear products, the best-selling Ruffwear Swamp Cooler dog cooling vest is made in Vietnam under the US-based company’s strict quality control measures. It features a high-quality, three-layer construction – the stretchy spandex top layer, the 92%/8% polyester/spandex absorbent middle layer and the 100% polyester mesh inner layer.
The construction material of the Swamp Cooler is the same as the Ruffwear Jet Stream dog cooling vest, but there are quite a few differences between the two which you should be aware of.
First of all, the Jet Stream cooling vest is a “step-in dog vest”, meaning that it requires the dog to put its legs in the harness. On the other hand, Swamp cooler uses side buckles and straps to wrap the vest around the dog, making it a lot easier to put-on and take-off.
Secondly, the Jet Stream has a more athletic cut that is smaller than Swamp Cooler and covers a lesser portion of the canine’s torso, so it provides more freedom to the pet for activities like hunting and trail running. On the other hand, the Swamp Cooler provides a full-body coverage that is more tailored towards strolling activities such as strolling on a trail.
Finally, the Swamp Cooler comes with a leash portal on the back of the harness as well as reflective trim to provide better visibility – a useful feature missing in the Jet Stream cooling vest.
The Swamp Cooler vest works on the standard evaporation cooling mechanism. The outer layer blocks and reflects the UVA and UVB rays ( it is rated at UPF 50+) and also facilitates evaporation. The middle layer absorbs and retains water and the inner layer transfers the cooling effect to the pet while keeping it dry from any dampness.
Once fully charged, the Swamp Cooler can provide cooling by over 30-degree Fahrenheit for up to 4-5 hours. Replenishment is easy, and you can simply pour more water on it to recharge. Â You can even use cold water, but the manufacturer recommends not to put the vest in the freezer for a long time as it can harm the fabric and reduce its lifetime.
The Swamp Cooler is suitable for all dog breeds, but more so for short-haired athletic dogs. Dogs with long-haired or double-coated fur may find it a little uncomfortable after prolonged use, as there are no ice pockets in the vest to provide accelerated relief. Â Still, this should not be a deal breaker considering this is a limitation of almost all dog cooling vests.
The Swamp Cooler comes with a reflective trim for easy visibility even in low lights. An integrated light loop is also provided to attach a beacon safety light, which is sold separately by the manufacturer.
Cleaning is easy, and the vest is machine washable in cold water and gentle cycle. But like most other dog cooling vests, drying is somewhat of a hassle and you would have to lay it flat in the sun for hours to air dry.
The Ruffwear Swamp Cooler is available in single graphite grey color combination and six sizes suitable for dogs from 15-20 lbs. up to 120-130 lbs. And like other Ruffwear products, it is backed by a lifetime warranty and a dedicated customer support service – a big testament to the quality of the product.
For its excellent quality and superior cooling performance, the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Dog Cooling Vest is our Editor’s pick for the best dog cooling vest for hiking and other outdoor adventures. If you are looking for a high-quality, high-performance dog cooling vest for your athletic dog, then the Swamp Cooler is an excellent choice to consider.
All For Paws Chill Out Ice Bandana – Best dog cooling collar
Material: Thin nylon-vinyl outer shell with a non-toxic, ice gel pad inner core.
- S: Neck – 11.8″-14.2″, suitable for 11-30 lbs. pets.
- M: Neck – 15″-18.1″ , suitable for 30-60 lbs. pets.
- L: Neck – 17.3″-20.4″, suitable for 60-100 lbs. pets.
- Best-selling, ultralight dog cooling collar with a nylon-vinyl outer shell and a non-toxic, ice gel pad inner core. Made in China.
- Simple to use and recharge by just soaking in normal or cold water for 2-3 minutes, wringing it and then putting it on the pet. Can be put in the freezer for 10-15 minutes for better cooling.
- The top layer stays dry while the inner gel-layer provides cooling for 1-2 hours. Easy to clean – wipe with a sponge or wet cloth and let it dry.
- Available in three sizes suitable for all dog breeds – small to extra-large. Fits comfortably around the neck with a Velcro or hook-and-loop strap.
- Comes in a single blue color with a unique water-ripples design that provides it a cool look.
- Competitively priced at around 10 USD and backed by a 100% satisfaction guaranteed commitment by the manufacturer.
If you are looking for a value-for-money dog collar to help cool down your canine during a hiking, hunting or any other outdoor excursion, then the best-selling All For Paws Chill Out Ice Bandana is a perfect option for you.
The lightweight All For Paws Chill Out Ice Bandana is a gel-based cooling collar that features a thin, puncture-resistant nylon-vinyl outer shell and a non-toxic, icy cool gel pad inner core. The collar is made in China under strict quality control measures, so you need not worry about the gel pad leaking at any stage.
The Chill Out bandana is extremely easy to use and provides cooling by both evaporation and temperature equilibrium principles. You only need to soak the bandana in cold water for 2-3 minutes and/or put it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes (the best approach is to put the bandana in a Ziploc bag and then put in the freezer), wring it properly and then put around the pet’s neck. Wringing the bandana is necessary to prevent any discomfort and temperature shock to the pet due to accelerated cooling. Since the collar is gel-based, it does not absorb water and hence stays relatively lightweight even when recharged.
The top layer of the collar stays cool yet dry for 1-2 hours and can be easily recharged with normal or cold water. It can help in lowering the body temperature at least by 5-10o F. Most dogs are comfortable with the vinyl surface, though some pets may not like its “somewhat slushy” surface. So, keep this in mind before ordering one.
The dog cooling collar comes in three sizes suitable for all dog breeds from 10 lbs. to 100-110 lbs. And to ensure a proper fit around the neck a Velcro or hook-and-loop strap is provided. The strap can provide some allowance/adjustment for a perfect fit, but you should always measure your pet’s neck before picking the right size.
Cleaning and storage is easy. You can simply wipe-off the outer surface with a wet cloth or sponge and let it air dry. Just make sure that you thoroughly dry the collar before storing it to prevent hardening of gel.
The Chill Out bandana is available in the single bright blue color with a water-ripple pattern. And the best part is that it is competitively priced under 10 USD, so you get maximum return on investment. The cooling collar is backed by a 100% satisfaction guaranteed commitment by the manufacturer, so you can purchase one without any worry.
For its great value-for-money construction and decent performance, the All For Paws Chill Out Ice Bandana is our Editor’s pick for the best dog cooling collar. It is available in three sizes that would fit most dogs and provide them with ample cooling during their outdoor adventures.
SGODA Dog Cooling Vest
Material: 100% nylon top-shell with cotton filling middle core and 100% polyester mesh inner layer and 3M reflective trim.
- XXS: Neck – 12.0″ – 14.0″, Chest – 10.0″ – 11.0″.
- XS: Neck – 14.5″ – 17.5″, Chest – 11.5″- 12.5″.
- S: Neck – 17.5″ – 20″, Chest – 13.0″- 14.5″.
- M: Neck – 20.5″ – 24.0″, Chest – 15.0″ – 17.0″.
- L: Neck – 24.5″- 28.0″, Chest – 17.5″ – 19.0″.
- XL: Neck – 28.0″ – 32.0″, Chest – 19.5″ – 22.5″.
- XXL: Neck – 32.5″- 39.5″, Chest – 23.0″ – 30.5″.
- High-performing dog cooling vest made of special soft and lightweight triple-layer technical fabric that provides protection from UV-rays and effective evaporative cooling. Made and marketed by a China-based company.
- Excellent cooling capacity wherein the top shell facilitates evaporation, the absorbent cotton filling retains water for evaporation, and the inner mesh layer distributes the cooling effect from the jacket to the dog. Lasts 3-5 hours when fully charged.
- Provides a comfortable fit with two zippers adjustable Velcro straps that offer up to a 1-inch room for adjustment for the neck and chest. Also has a belly-size adjusting elastic rope for even a more comfortable fit.
- Comes with a double zinc-alloy D-ring on the back side for attaching a leash.
- Easy to clean and machine washable in cold water and gentle cycle. Air dry only.
- Available in seven sizes and the standard light grey color combination. Backed by a 100% satisfaction guaranteed commitment by the manufacturer.
Kurgo Dog Core Cooling Vest
Material: Lightweight nylon outer-shell with a close-knit mesh technical fabric middle and bottom layer.
- XS: Neck – 12.0″, Chest – 14.0″ – 17.0″.
- S: Neck – 16.0″, Chest – 18.0″ – 28.0″.
- M: Neck – 19.0″, Chest – 26.0″ – 35.0″.
- L: Neck – 23.0″, Chest – 30.0″ – 39.0″.
- XL: Neck – 26.0″, Chest – 35.0″ – 45.0″.
- Premium dog cooling vest made of special two-layer technical fabric that reflects sunlight and also provides prolonged evaporation.
- Decent absorption capacity and can hold twice the amount of water as standard towels. Can last for 3-5 hours when charged.
- Provides an easy fit with adjustable straps that offer two points of adjustment to secure the vest.
- Designed to be easily worn over a harness, dog backpack or collar-leash with a two-way zipper on the top of the vest to access the attachment point.
- Easy to clean and machine washable in the delicate cycle and air dry.
- Available in a single Icy Blue reflective color and five sizes suitable for most dog breeds. Backed by a Kurgo lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.
Bingpet Dog Cooling Jacket
Material: 100% nylon top-shell with cotton filling middle core and a polyester liner inner core.
- M: Neck – 23.7″ – 20.4″, Chest – 22.0″ – 25.0″.
- L: Neck – 16.5″ – 23.2″, Chest – 28.0″ – 33.0″.
- XL: Neck – 18.8″ – 27.1″, Chest – 32.4″ – 37.0″.
- XXL: Neck – 23.2″ – 31.1″, Chest – 35.0″ – 40.0″.
Price: $ to $$ depending upon the size.
- Budget, triple-layer dog cooling vest featuring a 100% nylon outer shell with cotton filler and polyester lining. Made and marketed by a China-based company.
- A reflective, wicking outer layer facilitates evaporation, the absorbent middle layer retains water for evaporation, and the inner layer transfers the cooling effect from the jacket to the dog. Lasts 2-3 hours when fully charged.
- Features two points of adjustment – zipper for adjustment around the neck and a strap with the buckle for chest size adjustment.
- Comes with a reflective strap and orange color for high visibility even in low lights.
- Available in four sizes and competitively priced at around 25 USD.
Derby Originals Hydro Cooling Dog Jacket
Material: Ultra-thin, triple-layer quilted technical fabric.
- Size 12: Chest – 15.5″ – 18.0″, Length – 12.0″.
- Size 18: Chest – 23.0″ – 30.0″, Length – 18.0″.
- Size 22: Chest – 25.0″ – 32.0″, Length – 22.0″.
- Size 26: Chest – 33.5″ – 43.5″, Length – 26.0″.
- Size 28: Chest – 34.0″ – 42.0″, Length – 28.0″.
Price: $$ to $$$ depending upon the size.
- High-quality, versatile dog cooling coat that is designed to provide a cooling effect for up to 6-8 hours. Works best for long-haired, double-coated, or brachycephalic dog breeds.
- Second-generation design with three-layer construction that is lighter than the older version and still covers maximum part of the body. Made in India under US-based company’s quality control measures.
- The outer layer reflects heat and evaporates water, the middle layer absorbs and retains water, and the inner layer provides the cooling effect while keeping the pet dry. Provides long term cooling up to 6-8 hours.
- Also has a foldable neck collar to help in keeping the neck cool. Also has a built-in slot to slip the harness, collar leash through.
- Offers two points of adjustment with two elastic Velcro straps – one around the neck and one around the girth to adjust the size for a proper fit.
- Hand-wash and air dry only for longevity. Drying takes a lot of time, but necessary before storage.
- Available in three color combinations – Royal Blue, Pink and Orange, and eight sizes. Backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty against defects.
Ruffwear Jet Stream Dog Cooling Vest
Material: 100% stretching spandex top layer, 92%/8% polyester-spandex middle layer and 100% polyester mesh inner layer and trim.
- XXS: Neck – 11.0″ – 14.0″, Chest – 13.0″ – 17.0″.
- XS: Neck – 13.0″ – 16.0″, Chest – 17.0″ – 22.0″.
- S: Neck – 16.0″ – 20.0″, Chest – 22.0″ – 27.0″.
- M: Neck – 17.5.0″ – 22.0″, Chest – 27.0″ – 32.0″.
- L: Neck – 22.0″ – 26.0″, Chest – 32.0″ – 46.0″.
- XL: Neck – 26.5″ – 31.5″, Chest – 36.0″ – 42.0″.
- High-performance dog cooling vest with a three-layer construction. Made in Vietnam under the US-based company’s quality control measures.
- Features a stretchy spandex top, absorbent 92/8 polyester/spandex middle layer and meshed 100% polyester trim. Has an athletic cut that is smaller than the Swamp Cooler vest and provides more freedom.
- The outer layer reflects heat and blocks UV rays up to UPF 50+ rating. The middle layer absorbs water and the inner layer transfers the cooling effect to the pet.
- Adjustable with a zippered closure with YKK zippers to provide a comfortable fit.
- Once wet with water, can lower the body temperature by up to 30-degrees and last for 2-4 hours.
- Easy to clean and machine washable in cold water and gentle cycle. Air dry.
- Available in six sizes and two color combinations – Blue Lagoon and Salamander Orange. Backed by a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.
CoolerDog Dog Cooling Vest and Cooling Collar
Material: Chew-resistant nylon outer layer with neoprene straps.
- XS: Chest – 15.0″ – 18.0″.
- S: Chest – 18.0″ – 22.0″.
- M: Chest – 22.0″ – 27.0″.
- L: Chest – 27.0″ – 34.0″.
- Vet-approved dog cooling vest and collar set that utilizes pure frozen water to manage dog body temperatures. Made in the USA.
- Made of chew-resistant ripstop nylon with adjustable lightweight neoprene straps. Provides three levels of adjustment for a snug fit.
- Features patented FlexiFreeze frozen water packs made from the all-natural water of the Great Lakes. Comes with two packs with additional packs available separately.
- Once frozen and put in the vest, the water packs can provide heat relief for 20-30 minutes. So, suitable only for short domestic walks.
- Comes equipped with a high-quality, zinc-alloy ring on the vest harness to attach a leash, and an extra zipper around the neck to adjust the width.
- Available in four sizes and backed by a 90-day warranty against defects in materials or workmanship.
The Dog’s Right! Dog Cooling Collar
Material: 100% cotton canvas fabric with Velcro straps and hidden mesh pocket for the included gel ice pack strip.
Size: Neck – 14″-16″ suitable for all medium to large dog breeds.
- Innovative dog cooling collar with a 100% cotton canvas fabric material and a hidden pocket for four gel-based ice packs. Made in China.
- Provides multiple ways to provide wicking and cooling – use frozen ice packs (included) in the collar, and/or soak the collar in water for added cooling effect.
- The ice packs and collar provide cooling for 1.5-2.5 hours. You can also use frozen ice cubes instead of the ice pack or purchase additional ice packs
- Only comes in a single size suitable for medium to medium/large dogs (Huskies, Bulldogs, etc.). The Velcro strap at the ends provides some adjustment for a comfortable fit.
- Easy to clean – handwash with soap and water, and air dry.
- Available in a single blue color. Backed by a satisfaction guaranteed commitment.
Coolaid Canine Cooling Bandana
Material: 100% polyester-based patented fabric by Coolcore, that provides evaporative cooling.
- S: 12″ x 12″.
- M: 18″ x 18″.
- L: 24″ x 24″.
Price: $$ to $$$ depending upon the size.
- Award-winning, premium dog cooling bandana made of patented polyester fabric that retains the cooling capabilities throughout its lifetime. Made in the US.
- Provides three-way cooling by wicking, moisture absorption, and regulated evaporation. To use simple soak in water for 2-3 minutes, wring and shake.
- Can provide cooling of up to 30% lower than outside temperature and lasts for 1.5-3 hours. Quick recharge by re-soaking.
- Rated at UPF 30+ to additionally provide protection from UVA and UVB rays.
- Easy to clean and 100% machine washable in gentle cycle.
- Available in three sizes and multiple color combinations. Backed by a 100% satisfaction guaranteed commitment by the manufacturer.
How to pick the best dog cooling vests and collars for camping, hiking and other outdoor adventures?
With so many different dog cooling vests and collars available in the market, picking the best dog cooling vest and collar can be a challenging task. While picking such is not much different from picking any other type of dog harness or dog collar, you need to keep quite a few things in mind before zeroing in on the best dog cooling vest and/or collar for your pooch.
The vest or collar that you pick must be comfortable for the pooch to wear, walk and run in. It should also be effective in keeping the pet cool for an extended period and easy to replenish. Finally, it should also be compatible with other gears such as dog backpacks, harnesses, and leashes.
Keeping all these characteristics in mind, you can consider the following major factors for selecting the best dog cooling vest or collar for your canine companion:
- Building material and design
- Cooling capacity and performance
- Size of the vest/collar
- Color and style
- Warranty and support
Building material and design
The building material and design of the dog cooling vest or collar is an important factor to consider as it governs the overall durability and reliability as well as the cooling performance of the product.
This includes the material of the outer shell, middle layer and the inner layer along with the material of adjustable straps and zippers, if any.
All the dog cooling vest options that we listed are made of multi-layer, technical fabric blends with the top shell providing protection from UVA and UVB rays, the middle layer acting as a water retainer and the innermost layer providing the cooling effect to the pet. Some models also offer additional padding on the belly and neck collars for comfort and concentrated cooling.
Evaporative-cooling dog collars are also made of technical fabric blends, either cotton-based or polyester-based which can be soaked in water and provide a cooling effect to the pet.Â Gel-based dog cooling collars, on the other hand, have shape-retaining nylon-vinyl outer shells with zipper pockets or sleeves to put in the gel or ice pack.
In order to provide a snug fit, these vests and collars have adjustable straps and zippers. Furthermore, to accommodate collar leashes or additional harness, they have slits, openings or loops to attach the leash. Made sure you check such design features especially if you are going to use the cooling vest with a separate harness or collar leash.
In terms of overall construction and design features, the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Dog Cooling Vest and All For Paws Chill Out Ice Bandana have the best build quality and design and hence are our favorites.
Check the design features and manufacturing material of the vest and collars before picking the best option for your pooch.
Cooling capacity and performance
Closely related to the material and design of the dog cooling vest or collar is its cooling capacity and performance.
As discussed above, the standard dog cooling vests can provide a cooling effect of 20-30 degrees for anywhere from 1 hour up to 5 hours, depending upon the outside temperature and humidity. Dog cooling collars, on the other hand, can provide a cooling effect of 5-20 degrees for anywhere from 30 minutes up to 3 hours.
High-performance cooling vests such as our top pick – the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Dog Cooling Vest do a better job as they have been verified to have a cooling effect of 30-40 degrees and can last without replenishment for more than 3-4 hours.
Just to reiterate, dog cooling vests and collars work better in dry weather, wherein the rate of evaporation is high, and humidity is low. The thickness of the coat and the physical activity index of the dog can also impact the overall cooling performance. Canines which have thick fur and are extremely enthusiastic when outdoors would require a slightly more frequent replenishment (which is simply pouring more water on the vest) than docile, fur-less dogs.
Check the advertised cooling performance and actual in-field experiences before pulling the plug on a specific dog cooling vest or coat. The product reviews and Q&A section are an excellent source of getting this information.
Size of the vest/collar
Once you have zeroed in on a specific model of dog cooling vest or collar, you need to pick a size that fits your dog properly and provides a comfortable, snug fit.
The shape and style of the vest or collar and your canine’s physique can often play a major role in this.
Most manufacturers provide their own sizing charts and measuring instructional videos to help you pick the best size for your pet. Check these videos and charts out. You can also check the Q&A section and reviews on Amazon for some more information. And if you are unsure of the size to get, reach out to the manufacturer for help or a custom-fit vest. With dog cooling collars, when in doubt, you can always consider picking one size up
Most of the dog cooling vest and collars models that we listed provide some level of adjustment – either through adjustable straps, buckle belts or Velcro or cloth. If the vest or collar does not fit the pets perfectly and you may have to make some do-it-yourself adjustments and tinkering.
Do not rely only on your dog’s breed and weight, and measure-up your pet and pick the best dog cooling vest and collar size based on the sizing chart provided by the manufacturer.
Color and style
While it might not have a big impact on the functionality of the cooling vest or collar, the color combination and in which the product is available is also something to look at.
Bright, reflective colors and designs are not only fashionable but also make the vests and collars do a better job in reflecting the sunlight. Reflective colors also help in ensuring that a walking dog is widely visible and easily noticeable on a trail, especially while hiking just before sunrise or late in the evening.
While most of the options we listed are available in single color combinations, some dog cooling vests and collars such as the Derby Originals Hydro Cooling Dog Jacket and Coolaid Canine Cooling Bandana are available in multiple color combinations, so you can pick the most suitable one as per your liking.
Warranty and support
In addition to the major factors discussed above, one of the most important additional considerations is the warranty and post-purchase customer service support offered on the product by the manufacturer.
Top manufacturers such as Ruffwear, Kurgo and All For Paws score big in this category as they offer excellent lifetime warranties and 100% satisfaction guaranteed commitment on their dog cooling vests and collars along with a dedicated customer support service – a testament of the superior quality these products offer. Other manufacturers that we have listed also offer decent warranties and responsive post-sales support on their vests and collars, also making them good choices.
Just make sure you make your purchase only from the manufacturers and authorized resellers to ensure that you get the genuine product and not a knock-off.
In summary, also consider the availability of a warranty and post-sales support before picking the best dog cooling vest or collar for your beloved pet.
Final thoughts on the best dog cooling vests and collars for camping and hiking
Most dog parents love to have their dogs accompany them on hiking, hunting, camping, and other outdoor adventures. In normal weather, it may not be much of a problem, but in the hot summers, it can be a challenge to keep your canine cool and happy during these outdoor excursions.
Dog cooling vests and collars are designed exactly to help you with this – these vests and collars provide accelerated cooling to the canines and help them avoid overheating and maintain their body temperatures better, even in hot conditions.
In this article, we listed some of the best dog cooling vests and collars available in the market. We briefly looked at how these cooling products work and also listed some of the major factors to keep in mind before picking the best dog cooling vest and/or collar for your pet. We also shared our top picks for these products.
We hope that you found this article useful and it would help you in picking the best dog cooling vest or collar for your pooch’s next outdoor adventure. Do let us know your feedback by commenting below. Until next time, happy camping with your beloved pet!